Learn the secrets to replace your docks on a tight budget without sacrificing quality or style.
For Santa Barbara Harbor rebuilding 500 of their slips without imposing large rate increases seemed impossible. Set to find a way, the Harbor enlisted the help of top marina builder, Bellingham Marine. Together the two set out to achieve the impossible.
With an open mind and a willingness to invest time in the process, you too can rebuild your tired marina without breaking your budget.
Follow these 3 marina renovation tips and discover how.
1. DON’T HOLD BACK ON THE PLANNING PHASE
The tighter the budget the more valuable the planning phase. Get a good understanding of the big picture. Then, sit down with your marina builder and begin to construct a plan that will take you from point A to point B.
Planning Phase Focus
The planning phase should include more than design and material choice. Identify and define these key items:
- Business goals
- Market demand
- Site conditions (including limitations)
- Sticking points (what are you not willing to compromise on)
- Budgetary constraints
- Funding sources
This important step will give you the lens you need to make critical decisions going forward. Everything should point back to your business goals and market demand.
Your site’s conditions – water depth, wave environment, boundaries, entrance channels and your sticking points will guide you toward what’s possible.
Armed with the above information and your ideas on dock type and amenities, your marina builder will be able to identify your options.
Your options package should include:
- A range of approaches including phased construction options
- Permitting requirements and possible workarounds
- Possible system trade-offs
- Optional features and amenities (upgrades and downgrades)
- Future add-ons
A marina builder worth their weight in gold will know what trade-offs can occur within your project. The goal? A solution that is a best fit for your business, your budget and your customers.
Whether you are an investor, developer, owner, operator or just someone interested in the industry, this is one marina development FAQ you won’t want to miss. The pros at Bellingham Marine (and a few of the company’s trusted engineers) tackle owners’ top 12 challenging site questions.
- Extending existing docks
- Mitigating wave from boat traffic
- Building for high density
- Building and operating in freezing temperatures
- Building in tropical, high-salinity environments
- Rebuilding on a tight budget
- Placement and design, launch docks for human-powered craft
- Options for meeting grating requirements and bans on treated wood
- Building for mixed-use
- Dock that will ground out at low tide
- Dealing with debris on rivers
- Extending pile height
If you don’t find the answers to your question, contact us. Every site is unique and comes with its own questions. We love to talk about marina design and would love the opportunity to talk with you about any questions you have.
Whether you are considering a renovation or you are building a new marina from scratch, there is one thing we can all agree on: You can’t afford to not do it right the first time! That’s why we’ve made it our goal to equip owners with the tools they need to make the best decisions for their business and the operation of their marina.
Building on Water: The Ultimate Resource Guide is a fantastic and easy-to-use planning tool. The book will guide you through everything from the dock systems that are available to the best construction methods for getting your job done on time and on budget.
Here are 3 tips that every successful marina developer swears by…
Tip #1 – Know What Dock Fits Your Needs
Choosing a proper dock system for your site is one of the most crucial factors to a successful marina.
- Are you on a lake or the coast?
- What is your wave environment?
- What types of boaters would you like to welcome into your facility?
These are all important questions to answer, and Building on Water will help you learn which kind of dock will work best for your situation.
Not all composite products are created equal, and not all FRP rods are suitable for use in the construction of pontoons.
The FRP pontoon approved Thru-Rod from Pultron Composites is a highly specialized product. It was developed by Pultron in partnership with world marina builder Bellingham Marine exclusively for use in floating dock systems.
Pultron’s one-of-a-kind FRP thru-rod will not fatigue or deform under long term stress. It has tremendous tensile, shear, and thread strength. It is specially designed to withstand the dynamic forces and corrosive nature of the marine environment. The rod’s specialized performance properties are directly related to the composite mix, a unique thread design, and use of a specialized nut.
There is great variation between products within the composite industry. By definition, a composite is made up of various parts. While products from different manufacturers may look similar their physical, chemical and performance properties most likely differ.
Therefore, it is important to know the difference between an FRP rod that has been designed and approved for use in a pontoon system versus one that has not been approved.
Typically on our blog I like to write technical or educational pieces that have an overall focus on marina design best practice, innovation and industry trends.
I make a conscious effort to stay away from brand specific pieces as I do not want to compromise the credibility of our blog by including sales pitches.
This article strays a bit from my traditional focus but I thought it still worthwhile to share as many of our readers are familiar with the Unifloat concrete dock system and may have the same question one of our recent clients had – What is the difference between the Unifloat system you produce today vs. the one you manufactured thirty to forty years ago?
For all intents and purposes, to the untrained eye, today’s Unifloat dock system looks very similar to the ones manufactured by the company in the mid to late 1900’s – after all, today’s Unifloat is characterized by the same overall design concept as the original. The modules are still made from concrete, most commonly connected by treated timber walers, which are held in place by through-rods.